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Toddler Tantrums: Help from Neuroscience

Charlie’s parents felt like they were walking on eggshells. A simple family party often set off the three year-old. The unfamiliar setting, the commotion, and relatives trying to hug and kiss the boy could easily send him into a kicking and screaming fit. Usually quiet, Charlie routinely burst into tantrums for reasons neither his parents nor […]

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What Makes an Education “Appropriate”? Building It on Relationships

Every IEP team should assure that a child has the chance to develop emotional regulation through trusting relationships. Without that opportunity, meaningful learning is impossible.

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Reducing Children’s Stress (and Yours!) During the Holidays

It’s supposed to be a time of joyful excitement, but the truth is that the holiday season can be stressful for children and parents alike.

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Lessons from Spin Class: The Limitations of Encouragement

Are we doing children a disservice by insisting on mind over matter? Some food for thought on how to tailor encouragement to suit each child's unique needs.

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A Nurturing Alternative to Calm-Down and Time-Out Rooms

Rose’s parents and teachers were concerned about how to help her find success in kindergarten. Sometimes she went with the flow but at other times Rose fussed so much that she disrupted the whole class. Then her teachers devised a plan that everyone thought would help. They designated a small, separate section of the classroom […]

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What Causes Oppositional Defiance and Challenging Behaviors?

We can shift our mindset from viewing ODD as manipulative behavior to seeing it as an indicator that the child’s physiological state has shifted to distress, leading to fight or flight behaviors.

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Oppositional Defiance or Faulty Neuroception? Part 2

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) should be viewed as a child's response to stressors. Porges' concept of neuroception is key in supporting children and creating treatment plans to help them find their way back to emotional regulation.

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Oppositional Defiance or Faulty Neuroception?

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) should be viewed as a child’s response to stress. Viewing challenging behaviors on a continuum of stress and stress recovery reveals a whole new way to think about this stigmatizing disorder, as well as a new way to support children, informed by current neuroscience.

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The Top Priority When your Child is Diagnosed with Developmental Differences

We want to shift away from viewing developmental differences as something that needs to be quickly “fixed”. Rather, we need to soften the stance to view differences with patience and compassion; with reflection regarding what behaviors or capacities should be targeted for change, and why

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Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.1 day ago
The look on your face nourishes the soul of the person you are smiling at--I try to always remember this. Thanks Marilyn Price-Mitchell at Roots of Action for sharing! #Resilience #Brainhealth #relationshipsmatter #education #specialed #earlyintervention
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.2 days ago
For those interested in the top-down/bottom-up discussion, here's some background info---When we don't understand the difference, it leads to an Expectation Gap. And not just for toddlers, but for all ages. #Expectationgap #toddlerbehaviors #tantrums #positiveparenting #resilience #earlyintervention #socialemotional #polyvagaltheory https://monadelahooke.com/1210-2/
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.4 days ago
Many have asked me about the difference between top-down and bottom-up behaviors. A common misperception is that all children's behaviors are top-down -- deliberate misbehaving-- and so they are managed through punishments, consequences or rewards.

That’s the problem. Not all behaviors are top-down; many disruptive behaviors are actually bottom-up.

Bottom-up behaviors do not respond to rewards, consequences or punishments. They are brain-based stress behaviors that require understanding, compassion and actively helping a child feel safe. When we punish a bottom-up behavior, we can easily make matters worse. And this is why so many of our approaches fall short, or even deepen a child or teen’s emotional and behavioral challenges. Understanding the difference will reduce suffering for so many—including those from loving homes, to foster children who have been needlessly blamed for their behaviors, and neurodivergent children inappropriately disciplined for their natural inclinations. #Beyondbehaviors #ACES #Parenting #Paradigmshift #Neurodiversity #specialeducation #Childwelfare
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.5 days ago
Thanks Hidden Treasure with Tracey Farrell for this reframe, great synchrony with #Beyondbehaviors!
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.
Mona Delahooke, Ph.D.6 days ago
Thanks DMDD Journey for such a nice reframe of the term "attention-seeking". #Beyondbehaviors #relationshipsfirst